The course aims at providing students with a basic knowledge of the history of south, south-east and east Asia from the second world war to the 1990s , with particular attention to China, Pakistan and India, and with the analytical tools that are necessary to analyse in a critical way more recent events.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student will have acquired an understanding of the history of central, southern and eastern Asia since the second world war. He/she will have acquired the conceptual and terminological tools that are necessary to comprehend also the most recent events taking place in Asia and to critically analyse them, and to express himself/herself adequately. These skills will allow the student to continue his/her studies in an autonomous manner.
The first unit will analyse the events that led to the emergence of India and Pakistan and the disputes that since then have divided them, mostly related to the Kashmiri issue. These disputes are analysed within their regional context and in light of internal challenges , from ethnic and religious tensions to socio-economic disparity. The bilateral relations will be analysed also in the context of the Afghan crisis.
The second unit will focus on the contemporary history of China, from the birth of the Republic of China (1911) to the present. The Chinese "short XX century" and the challenges that the Country faces today will be presented in the wider context of East Asia and South Asia. In particular, the course will consider the diplomatic and economic relations with Japan. The aim of the course is to provide insights into the political, economic and cultural dimensions of the Chinese path to modernity.
The third unit will examine political, diplomatic, economic and cultural aspects of contemporary history of Japan, from the late nineteenth-century expansionism, the Empire defeat in 1945, the reconstruction and economic boom years, until the recent quest for a new Japanese identity. This unit will consider the changing role of Japan in East Asia, considering China in comparative perspective.
1) Presentation of the course and the geographic area; historical overview 2) The national constructions of Pakistan and India 3) De-colonization and the partition of the subcontinent 4) The question of Kashmir and the relationship between India and Pakistan from 1947 to1962 5) The Sino-Indian war of 1962 and the second India-Pakistan war 6) The secession of the eastern wing of Pakistan and the uprising in Beluchistan 7) The islamization of Pakistan and the phase of Indira Gandhi in India 8) The question of Siachen, the composite dialogue of India and Pakistan and its failure 9) The relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and between Afghanistan and India 10) Conclusions.
Unit II: 1) Introduction; the end of Qing Empire, the rise and fall of the Chinese Republic. 2) Nationalist Government and warlords during the Great Depression. 3) Rise and victory of the Communist alternative. 4) Civil war and reconstruction after the Second World War. 5) Economic policies and diplomacy during the Mao era. 6) Cultural revolution and the end of isolation. 7) The reform era. 8) Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. 9) XXI century China. 10) Conclusions.
Unit III: 1) Introduction; the Meiji Restoration. 2) The formation of the Colonial Empire. 3) Japanese politics and diplomacy during the First World War. 4) Economy and social change of a developing country. 5) Politics and economy in the autoritharian period. 6) The Second World War and the fall of the empire. 7) The reconstruction era. 8) The economic boom and diplomacy during the Cold war era. 9) The "lost 20 years" and the quest for a new identity. 10) Conclusions.
Prerequisites for admission
Lectures, discussions and presentations
Unit I (attending students):
I. Talbot e G. Singh, La spartizione. 1947: alle origini di India e Pakistan, il Mulino, 2012 , except pp. 77-84 and ch. 4, OR: Giunchi, Afghanistan. Da una confederazione tribale alle crisi contemporanee, Carocci, 2021.
Unit I (non attending students ): one of the following: - I. Talbot e G. Singh, La spartizione. 1947: alle origini di India e Pakistan, il Mulino, 2012. -S. Ganguly, Storia dell'India e del Pakistan, Bruno Mondadori, any edition -I. Talbot e G. Singh, La spartizione. 1947: alle origini di India e Pakistan, il Mulino, 2012 -V. Schofield, Kashmir. India, Pakistan e la guerra infinita, Fazi editore 2004 -E. Giunchi, Pakistan: islam, potere e democratizzazione, Carocci, 2009. -E. Giunchi, Afghanistan: storia e società nel cuore dell'Asia, Carocci, 2007. - E. Giunchi, Il pashtun armato, Mondadori, 2021.
Unit II (attending and non attending students): G. Samarani, La Cina contemporanea. Dalla fine dell'impero a oggi, Einaudi, 2017
Unit III (attending and non attending students): R. Caroli, F. Gatti, Storia del Giappone, Laterza, 2017 (at least ch. 6-11). A. Revelant, Il Giappone moderno, dall'Ottocento al 1945, Einaudi, 2018 (at least parts 2 e 3).
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral exam for attending students; written for non attending students